After all the off-track distractions in Australia following the court proceedings brought by Giedo van der Garde, the Sauber F1 Team were able to focus on qualifying on Saturday, and saw Felipe Nasr just miss out on making it through to the final part of qualifying, although Marcus Ericsson was eliminated in part one.
Nasr was less than a tenth of a second away from making through to Q3, but was happy to have got so close, especially after missing the first free practice session on Friday and having to learn the track in the second. He is looking to push on Sunday and score his maiden points and the team’s first points since 2013.
“As a team we can be happy that we nearly made it into Q3,” insisted Nasr. “Missing FP1 on Friday affected the performance of the car to a certain extent, and I also had less time getting to know the new track in Melbourne.
“All in all I am satisfied with the result and I am looking forward to the race. Tomorrow is an important day with it being my first ever Formula One race, and we are going to push for points.”
Ericsson was disappointed to see himself eliminated in Q1, especially after feeling the car showed promise during practice on Friday. He revealed he would need to sit down with his team overnight to see what went wrong and the reasons why he starts from a lowly sixteenth on the grid.
“It was a disappointing session for me being P16, and we cannot be satisfied with this result,” reflected a disappointed Ericsson. “I had quite a good feeling in the car yesterday, but today I have been struggling to feel confident, especially in the braking zones.
“We need to analyse the data tonight to see what we have changed from yesterday, so that we can learn from that and fight back during the race. Tomorrow is a new day.”